Solidarity with Aporrea.org

In February, the left-wing Venezuelan website Aporrea.org came under intense and sustained cyber attack by unknown culprits with the resources to mount a sophisticated assault, which caused the site to go offline for several days. On February 22, Aporrea issued a statement detailing what it knows about this this attack on the alternative media.

Left-wing organizations around the world have responded by expressing support for this important resource for the struggle in Venezuela and beyond. Here, the International Socialist Organization adds its voice with a message of solidarity against the cyber attacks. A Spanish translation of this statement has been published at Aporrea.org.

Logo of the Venezuelan socialist website and forum Aporrea

OVER THE past few weeks, the left-wing Venezuelan website Aporrea.org has been subjected to various cyber attacks, causing it go offline for five days. Because of the attacks, Aporrea was not only forced offline, but also faced severe economic setbacks, as it had to switch networks and purchase a new, expensive network protection service.

While it is still unclear who is behind these attacks, their magnitude suggest that it was coordinated by entities backed with power, money and significant resources--most likely by those who would benefit most by silencing the revolutionary, independent and critical news agency. As a statement from Aporrea reads: "It is logical to think, and it shows, that many of the antipathies towards Aporrea come from the areas of corruption embedded in the apparatus of the bourgeois state of our Venezuela, which is still subject to the capitalist system, and actors who opted for the exercise of despotic governance in the replacement of socialist democracy."

Aporrea.org is an autonomous, independent website where the concerns and criticisms of popular movements, social movements and political currents of the Bolivarian revolution are expressed. The site was created in 2002 to both to confront the coup that toppled Hugo Chávez for two days before being reversed, as well as to open up channels of expression for Venezuelan social movements.

For the past 15 years, Aporrea has been a democratic and critical space for news, analysis and debate for the left. It is a space where peasants, students, communal organizations, social organizations, participants in workers struggles and militants in various political currents can publish their documents, articles and experiences for discussion and debate.

In many ways, the site functions as a news agency for the struggles of movements in Venezuela. It averages close to 100,000 hits per day and upwards of 3 million hits per month, with up to 40 percent of those site visits being international.

The attacks on Aporrea come in the context internationally of a war on journalists and whistleblowers, and open hostility towards the press by the presidential administration of Donald Trump. A free press--one that is independent and critical of states and corporate actors--is at risk in countries around the world. Genuine voices of the left like Aporrea are especially vital today.

The International Socialist Organization stands in solidarity with Aporrea against these attempts to silence one of the most important critical voices of the left in Latin America.